Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I love science

“We are living now, not in the delicious intoxication induced by the early successes of science, but in a rather grisly morning-after, when it has become apparent that what triumphant science has done hitherto is to improve the means for achieving unimproved or actually deteriorated ends.”
Aldous Huxley

Science and God are not at odds.  They never have been.  In fact they fit together quite well.  One could say, they fit together perfectly.  It's the leaders of the science community who pull away from any hint of religious thought and religious leaders who pull away from any hint of scientific truth that create these kinds of divides and polarities.  Just like when nations war, or political parties have it out with each other, or mega-corporations fight for best product at the lowest price. 

Francis Collins, co-founder of the human genome project responsible for mapping the human genome wrote along similar lines in his book The Language of God. 

“Will we turn our backs on science because it is perceived as a threat to God, abandoning all the promise of advancing our understanding of nature and applying that to the alleviation of suffering and the betterment of humankind? Alternatively, will we turn our backs on faith, concluding that science has rendered the spiritual life no longer necessary, and that traditional religious symbols can now be replaced by engravings of the double helix on our alters?

Both of these choices are profoundly dangerous. Both deny truth. Both will diminish the nobility of humankind. Both will be devastating to our future. And both are unnecessary. The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. He can be worshipped in the cathedral or in the laboratory. His creation is majestic, awesome, intricate and beautiful - and it cannot be at war with itself. Only we imperfect humans can start such battles. And only we can end them.”
Francis S. Collins, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief

Well, he's getting old you know.  There is a great deal of respect that comes from an atheistic worldview in the realm of the science community.  Often if a scientist is willing to come out as Christian, they will be laughed out of the science community.  And then the New atheists write about them, like Sam Harris' in his piece "The Strange Case of Francis Collins."  As if Francis Collins is somehow so confused and old and weary that he's softened to the idea of religious thought, and so on.

In the same way, the religious community responded to science with hostility and rejection.  What could have been welcomed was turned away.  An unnecessary divide was built between science and faith.  Now we live in the results of that divide.  As science grew, flowered, blossomed, cured diseases, prevented illnesses, religion looked more and more hokey and backwards.  That never had to happen, but it did, and here we are.

But I would like to step out, on behalf of modern Christianity and say to all the scientists out there: I'm sorry.  I'd like to say I'm sorry.  I love your science.  It's awesome.  Religious leaders of the past shunned you and wronged you, put you death, set you on fire and so forth, and I'd just like to say I'm sorry.  I love science.  I love God.  I love both.  I tend to agree with Francis Collins view on God when he said, "God is an excellent mathematician and physicist."